Use Google Earth on Earth Day

Earth Day in Google EarthToday is Earth Day. A time to sit back and think about our wonderful planet, and some of us will be out picking up some trash, or just enjoying nature. For those of you stuck inside due to weather, work, or other reasons – perhaps you might want to spend the day exploring our wonderful planet through the power of Google Earth. Here are a few links of stories from Google Earth Blog (GEB) describing environmental related content available for viewing in Google Earth:

  • About Google Earth Layers – Google has a ton of environmental content built into the Google Earth Layers. Read this article to learn about layers and how to use them.

  • Environment LayersGreenpeace,
    ARKive (endangered species), Unicef (water and sanitation), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), and lots of environmental layers under the Ocean layer

  • Rising Sea Levels – Animations showing what would happen if ice melting caused seas to rise too high – e.g. New York City.

  • EPA Air Quality Report – US Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality report for Google Earth – called AirNOW

  • NASA Earth Day Photos – NASA released these photos in 2008 in honor of Earth Day.

  • Sea Ice Melting – Dramatic animation of data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center showing ice extents from 1979 through March of 2008 on both poles. See other GE data from NSIDC.

  • Google Earth Outreach Showcase – See environmental and science content for Google Earth.

  • Glacier Melt Survey – dramatic illustration of how fast glaciers are melting around the World.

  • Amazon Indians Using Google Earth – Primitive indians learn to use GPS and Google Earth to help protect their rainforest – true story!

  • Upper Green Valley – Issues of gas drilling impacting the environment in one location

  • Neighborhood Fights Logging With Google Earth – Neighbors in Santa Cruz, California successfully stop a logging plan by using Google Earth. Read the full story.

  • Blue Marble Add-On – This file lets you view a prettier image of the Earth from NASA for Google Earth. It shows the view of the Earth from space, with or without clouds, based on the current month. The clouds are closer to real time – updated every 15 minutes. The picture of the Earth and clouds disappear automatically as you get closer so you can see GE’s built in satellite imagery without interference.

[UPDATE Here is Google’s post on Earth Day with a new featured gallery of environmental and science GE content. ]

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was released. He worked in 3D graphics for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank left in 2009 to circumnavigate the earth by sailboat as part of the Tahina Expedition.



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